“ENDLESS JUNKMAIL SCROLL”: This piece by Vernita Nemec is part of “Doom and Bloom,” on view at the West Windsor Arts Center January 6 through February 28. The exhibition features the work of 25 artists using recycled and reused materials. An opening reception with the artists is Sunday, January 12 from 4 to 6 p.m.
The West Windsor Arts Council presents “Doom and Bloom” — an art show calling attention to the crisis of trash on earth and how artists can have a positive impact on the environment. This exhibition, featuring the work of 25 artists using recycled and reused materials, will be on view January 6 through February 28 at the West Windsor Arts Center.
The juror was Vernita Nemec, artist and director of the Viridian Artists art gallery in Chelsea, New York City. An opening reception with the juror and artists will be held Sunday, January 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. Artists will be at the opening to discuss their work.
Artwork featured in the show transforms common discarded materials into inspiring works of art. It was a requirement of the prospectus that at least 80 percent of the materials in each work would otherwise be trash, if not saved from the landfill in this manner.
This exhibition is part of a larger initiative in 2020 by the West Windsor Arts Council to follow the example of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary to address issues around climate action and sustainability. Through the help of a grant from NRG Energy, the West Windsor Arts Council is making adjustments to ensure that sustainable practices are used in its classrooms for matters such as material clean-up, recycling, energy use, and waste management. The changes will serve as a model to emulate for sustainable practices in the art studio.
Nemec is a visual/performance artist/curator who has exhibited her art around the world, including curating and organizing exhibitions of art from recycled materials throughout the United States (“Art from Detritus: Recycling with Imagination”), for which she received a Kauffman Foundation Fellowship and a grant from the Puffin Foundation. Her artwork ranges across a variety of disciplines, including installations, collages, and tangible art objects, such as the Endless Junkmail Scroll. In the 1990s, Nemec served as the director of Artists Talk on Art, interviewing luminaries in the art world. She is currently the director of Viridian Artists art gallery in New York City.
The “Doom and Bloom” show includes Nemec’s Endless Junkmail Scroll installation. In a description of this work by Times Observer writer Stacey Gross, she explains, “The dynamic nature of the piece allows it to morph and adapt to any space in which it is shown, allowing Nemec to ‘fill the air with detritus transformed’ and creating a physical space out of art itself…. The installation confronts multiple social and environmental issues inherent in 21st century life…. Human beings’ ability to end life as we know it by the process of production and consumption, is the ultimate thesis of the piece.”
The West Windsor Arts Council show also features Kelly Vetter’s work Consumer, created from plastic bags and glue, exploring ideas about material culture with a nod to Maurizio Cattelan’s banana artwork, Comedian. Henry Klimowicz’ work Liken Lichen #3, uses just cardboard and hot glue to create an organic form, noting the “lengths that have been traveled by the material from trash to beauty. If I can make something beautiful from cardboard, I have then said that anything can be made valuable, fruitful, or hopeful.”
Artists in the show include Joanne Amantea, Lisa Bagwell, J Bettina, Annaliese Bischoff, Ellen Burnett, Angelyn Chandler, Connie Cruser, Tara de la Garza, Joann Donatiello, Joanne Donnelly, Ilene Dube, Jean Foos, Henry Klimowicz, Joy Kreves, Eleni Z. Litt, Christy Elizabeth O’Connor, Helene Plank, Dolores Poacelli, Monique Sarfity, Jennifer Seastone, Kasia Skorynkiewicz, Katie Truk, Kelly Vetter, and Larry Zdeb.
The West Windsor Arts Center is located at 952 Alexander Road, West Windsor. Office and gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (609) 716-1931 or visit www.westwindsorarts.org.